On 24 November 1951, Constable Andrew Henderson Cruickshank of ‘F’ (Maryhill) Division, City of Glasgow Police, was on patrol, when he heard a rumbling noise from the rear of a four storey tenement.
He entered the rear of the building and despite being unable to see due to the dense smoke and soot laden air, he managed to reach the ground floor close. As he did so, he heard a scream that the building was coming down. He then roused the families on the ground floor and told them to get out.
Without thought for himself or knowledge of the extend to the damage, he set about seeing to the safety of the other residents. As he climbed to the first landing, two further falls of masonry occurred, accompanied by clouds of dust and soot. Despite this, he found a number of residents on the first landing. They were dazed and unable to help themselves. He reassured them and took them down the stairs to safety.
He made his way up the stairs again to reach the second landing, but two further falls of large pieces of masonry occurred, narrowly missing him. He continued, despite having difficulty breathing, to the second floor landing where he found a number of residents in a state of panic. He succeeded in marshalling them, allaying their fears and getting them to descend to safety.
He then continued to the top landing and entered the flats to satisfy himself they were empty.
Constable Cruickshank acted with complete disregard of personal safety in entering the premises and he carried out the evacuation of the tenants with coolness and promptitude. (London Gazette 6.5.1952)
He was awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry and the Glasgow Corporation Medal for Bravery.